David Stern implemented a dress code for the NBA in 2005. The then-commissioner was seen as putting forth a reactionary policy to the trend of players following in the footsteps of Allen Iverson, one of the most culturally important players in league history.
But both Stern and the tussle over the dress code are now in the rearview mirror. Instead, players are setting trends in fashion, going so far as to hire stylists to get them looking noteworthy as they head to and from games.
But the dress code was apparently not a unilateral move, according to Stern. In a recent interview with Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Stern said that he was advised on the dress code policy by the NBA Players Association, and that they initially approved of it.
Via The Undefeated:
The [players’] union said it was a good thing to do. I did it, and then they attacked me on it. And then our players [did too]. I’m not going to embarrass you by asking what the dress code is because you wouldn’t remember that the dress code was: You could wear jeans, just wear a pair of shoes and a shirt with a collar. But our players went over the top. They started dressing, and frankly, they’ve got these great bodies and they just began to be on Gentlemen’s Quarterly and Vogue and all kinds of fancy places. And then they took it to the next level. They started designing their own fashion lines. I think it’s great. I think it’s fun.
A lot of players have now jumped the shark with the kind of wild things they wear to get folks talking. Russell Westbrook is a particular trend setter, and he rarely goes a week without making his sartorial flare known on social media.
All of Westbrook’s ridiculous outfits are David Stern’s fault. That’s my interpretation of this. You can have yours, but that’s mine.